Global Competence: Are You Ready?
by Bettina Staudt and Dick Kuettner
What an exciting time! A new year with ample opportunities for growth and innovation, learning, and celebrations! As some of us eagerly look forward to a new year, others are looking into the future with hesitation. How about you? Do you wonder what public education in Virginia has in store for us this new calendar year? Are you pondering how our students will fare and how we will continue to inspire teachers’, teaching, learning and innovation?
This new year – 2018 – will bring a renewed focus on the topic of global competency development. Our students will experience classrooms and schools that foster the value of, and embrace the diversity of, people, languages, and cultures. Our schools will continue to encourage intercultural sensitivity, and will help students move beyond tolerance to acceptance. Together we will demonstrate respect and appreciation of other cultures through comparisons and connections, not singlemindedness.
Many say that the goal of global awareness no longer serves our students well. On the contrary. We believe that the time is now to insist that career readiness include developing students with a high degree of global understanding and educating students in other languages. The goal is to develop proficiency in at least two world languages, including those listed as critical or less commonly taught.